Tactical gyros increase precision

  • 13-Aug-2010 04:19 EDT
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ADI’s tactical grade gyro will help improve stability in many applications.


In vehicles as diverse as aircraft and agricultural sprayers, maintaining precise stability of booms and weaponry regardless of vehicular motion is becoming more important. A gyroscope and an inertial measurement unit from Analog Devices are designed to stabilize platforms that house weapons, sprayer heads, or many other devices.

ADI’s iMEMS (integrated Micro Electro Mechanical System) inertial sensor is the base for two new products, the ADIS16135 iSensor precision angular rate gyro and the ADIS16385 iSensor six-degrees-of-freedom inertial measurement unit (IMU).

They are designed for tasks such as camera stability, antenna alignment, and down-hole drilling, as well as GPS navigation in ships, aircraft, fleet vehicles, and agricultural machinery. Gyros used in these applications are often tactical grade parts, which have bias stability ratings below 10° per hour. ADI’s gyro is well under that level, staying with 6° per hour bias stability. That performance helps in many areas.

“When you’re below 10° per hour, you can do very accurate dead reckoning,” said Bob Scannell, iSensor Business Development Manager, ADI. “If you’re trying to stabilize a weapon or camera under complex motion, you need high performance.”

Though aircraft will be a key target market, he expects construction and agriculture to be among the largest customers. “They need accurate, cost-effective sensors to provide platform stabilization, keeping booms and sprayers in position as the vehicle moves over rough terrain,” Scannell said. Those requirements provide the potential for the parts to gain applications in many military products, he added.

Along with the sensor cores, the devices house analog-to-digital converters, filters, I/O, and processing for alarms. These components will be critical for many designs.

“As you get higher in performance, the components surrounding the MEMS beams become more important,” Scannell said. “You need more resolution in the analog-to digital converter and good filtering. Our devices deliver high accuracy without high prices.”

Unlike many sensors, these units are calibrated in the factory, saving installers time. The two devices will maintain bias stability to within 0.003° per second over -40 to +85°C (-40 to +185°F) and sensitivity of 16 ppm/°C.

The ADIS16135 is a single-axis digital gyroscope with a ±300° per second measurement range. It operates over a 335-Hz bandwidth and is a complete IMU that includes a ±300° per second tri-axis gyroscope and a ±5-g tri-axis accelerometer.

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